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The Structure of Scaffolding

The Structure of Scaffolding

The scaffold structure The scaffold engineers will be responsible for selecting the appropriate scaffolding and preparing a scaffold design for the job. They design the scaffold installation.

The scaffold engineer on site should consider: „

  • The intended use of the scaffold.
  • Hazards and risks for people who erect, dismantle, use or are near the scaffold.
  • The foundations including ground conditions.
  • The load bearing capacity of the surface where the scaffold is to be erected or the suspension systems for hung or suspended scaffolds.
  • Dead loads e.g. resulting from the size and weight of the scaffold. „
  • Live loads e.g. workers, plant and material on the scaffold „ environmental.
  • Loads e.g. wind loads.
  • Bracing, tying and anchors—where anchors will be placed on the supporting structure and types of anchors to be used.
  • Supporting structures.„
  • Edge protection.
  • Protection against falls and falling objects.
  • Containment sheeting.
  • Safe entry and exit. 

Where necessary, improved scaffold stability may be achieved by: „

  •  Tying the scaffold to a supporting structure.
  • Guying to a supporting structure .
  • Increasing the dead load by securely attaching counterweights near the base.„
  • Adding bays to increase the base dimension.
  • Scaffolds should be designed by a competen person, for example a person holding a relevant scaffolding high risk work licence.

The system of work

Scaffolding System of work should be clear but flexible to meet changing circumstances as the work progresses. The system of work should provide for the assessment and control of any new risks arising from proposed changes to the work before they are implemented.

A documented safe system of work is an administrative control. For scaffolding work this could include consideration of: „

  • Worker competency and licensing requirements.
  • Consultation and coordination of the work with others.
  • Access and exit.
  • Exclusion zones.
  • Permit-to-work systems.
  • Fall arrest systems.
  • Inspection and maintenance.
  • Emergency arrangements.
  • Changes to the work arrangements. 

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